Swansea University Professor recognised for his important work on molecular biology and lipid research

Swansea University Professor of Molecular Biology Steven Kelly, has won the prestigious 2016 Schroepfer Medal which has been awarded by the American Oil Chemists Society (AOCS) in recognition of his significant and distinguished accomplishments in the science and technology of oils, fats, surfactants and related materials.

Steven Kelly Schroepfer Medal

Professor Kelly, from Swansea University Medical School, is the first recipient from Wales to receive this world wide award. Previous recipients have included experts from the UK, USA, Sweden and France.   

The award was established to honour the memory of George J. Schroepfer, Jr., a leader in the sterol and lipid field for more than 40 years.  The award aims to foster Schroepfer's ideals of personal integrity, high scientific standards, perseverance, and a strong spirit of survival, tempered by charm and wit. The Medal is awarded every two years.

The winner receives a Bronze medal, an Honorarium and the opportunity to present the Award Lecture at the AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo which is being held this year in Salt Lake City (1 – 4 May).

Professor Kelly is co-lead of the Swansea University Centre for Cytochrome P450 Biodiversity which is investigating cytochrome P450 systems of bacteria, fungi and animals. This centre comes under the wider Swansea University Microbiology and Infection research theme (within the Medical School) which focuses on disease mechanisms of hospital acquired infections, identification of new antimicrobials and antimicrobial resistance.

Steven Kelly Schroepfer Medal 3

Steven’s expertise is diverse including chemical/ microbial risks, drug development and resistance, working on pharmaceutical and agrochemical assessment especially for yeasts and fungi. Recent attention has shown the burden on human health of fungal disease is similar to malaria and TB and sterol production is targeted by common antifungal chemicals.  He has promoted an interdisciplinary approach including biomedical and clinical studies, microbiology, genetics, biochemistry, toxicology, pharmacology, industrial biotechnology, chemistry, engineering and agriculture.  This work has significant impact in Food Security, Low Carbon Biotechnology as well as for Health. He is part of the BEACON project that won the EU Regiostars prize in 2014, a Fellow of the Institute of Welsh Affairs, Royal Society of Biology, Royal Society of Chemistry and the Royal Learned Society of Wales.


Speaking about the award Professor Kelly said: “I am very honoured to be given this award by AOCS which has associations with many experts across the world. The award lecture will give me the opportunity to present key notes from my work, and the valuable research carried out by the Swansea University Centre for Cytochrome P450 Biodiversity, to distinguished AOCS members and guests at the annual conference.“

Professor Keith Lloyd, Dean and Head of Swansea University Medical School said:

“Professor Kelly’s award recognises the major contribution he has made to this important field over many years. This is further good news in a week that Swansea University Medical School has both climbed independent league tables to become 6th in the UK ahead of many long established medical schools, and has also become the first department in Swansea University to be awarded a silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of how we are promoting gender equality in terms of representation, progression and success for all."

Picture 1: (l to r) shows Blake Hendrix (current AOCS President), Steven Kelly and  Manfred Trautmann (outgoing AOCS President).

Picture 2: Steven with a blow up picture of the medal.